Mr. Hagen will give a lecture on Tchaikovsky's last opera "Iolanta." This free public event is part of Russian Romances concert on July 25, 2011 at the Helen Warden Corning Theater in Philadelphia. Follow this site for future listings of all free public events.
Daron Hagen (pronounced hɑgən/, us dict: hah-guhn, born November 4, 1961 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) taught himself to read music at the age of 11, began piano lessons at the age of 12, completed his first symphony at 14, conducted his first orchestral première at 16, and at 19 became the youngest composer since Samuel Barber to have a work premièred by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Commissions during his early twenties from the New York Philharmonic and the Kings Singers launched his career before the first of his seven major operas, Shining Brow (1992), garnered international critical and audience acclaim and established him as one of America 's most successful and respected opera composers.
Hagen's list of commissioners is extensive and includes The Philadelphia Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic, The National Symphony, The Milwaukee Symphony, The Albany Symphony, The Seattle Symphony, and The Buffalo Philharmonic. Most recently, Hagen has written concertos for Joel Fan, Gary Graffman, Jeffrey Khaner, Yumi Kurosawa, Michael Ludwig, Sara Sant'Ambrogio, the Amelia Piano Trio, Jaime Laredo, and Sharon Robinson, among others.
He has received awards from the Rockefeller Foundation (twice), the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet-the-Composer, the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, the Barlow Endowment Prize, Opera America, the ASCAP-Nissim Prize, and the Kennedy Center Friedheim Prize. In 2010, his Suite for Piano was a commissioned work for the Van Cliburn piano competition, resulting in hundreds of performances of the piece worldwide.
Hagen has been a Featured Composer atfestivals including Tanglewood, Wintergreen, and Aspen and currently serves as Artistic Director for the Seasons Music Festival. He has served as Composer-in-residence with the Long Beach Symphony and the Denver Chamber Orchestra. As Artistic andExecutive Director of the Perpetuum Mobile Concerts in New York and Philadelphia during the eighties, he presentedpremieres of over one hundred American composers' works.
Hagen's music enjoys more than a hundred performances a year. All of his operas, Amelia, Shining Brow, Bandanna, Vera of Las Vegas, New York Stories, The Antient Concert receive regular staged and concert revivals internationally—some under Hagen's stage direction or under his baton. His songs and song cycles are too frequently performed totrack.
Hagen's works have been recorded on overtwo dozen CDs. In 2009, Naxos released Shining Brow (Buffalo Philharmonic / Falletta) and the complete Hagen Piano Trios (Finisterra Trio). Bandanna wasreleased on Albany under his baton in 2007; Vera of Las Vegas on the CRI label. Nearly all of Hagen's vocal music is recorded and available commercially. Hagen's music is published by E.C. Schirmer, Carl Fischer, and Burning Sled.
Hagen is a trustee of the Douglas Moore Fund for American Opera, former president of the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, and a Lifetime Member of the Corporation of Yaddo. He serves frequently as an admissions and grants panelist for numerous national organizations including Opera America, the Copland House, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among others.
Hagen is a graduate of Curtis and Juilliard. He served two years on the musical studies faculty of the CurtisInstitute of Music; nine years on the composition faculty of Bard College; as a Visiting Professor at the City College of New York; and as a Lecturer in Music at New York University. He has served twice as Composer-in-Residence for the Princeton University Atelier; as Composer-in-Residence at the Chicago Conservatory of Music of the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, as Franz Lehar Composer-in-Residence at the University of Pittsburgh; as Artist-in-Residence at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Sigma-Chi-William P. Huffman Composer-in-Residence at Miami University; and for a year as Artist-in-Residence at Baylor University.
Currently fulfilling commissions for the Sarasota Opera, the Seattle Symphony, and Lyric Fest of Philadelphia, among others, Hagen lives in New York City with his wife Gilda and his son Atticus.
Vera Danchenko-Stern was born in Moscow into a family of professional musicians. She graduated from the Gnessin Institute of Music in Moscow with honors in piano, solo performance, chamber music, vocal and instrumental accompaniment.
Ms. Danchenko-Stern taught at the Gnessin Institute and toured as an accompanist throughout Russia and Europe before emigrating to Canada in 1979, where she joined the faculty of the Royal Conservatory of music in Toronto. She has performed highly acclaimed concerts with her brother, violinist Victor Danchenko, in major cities for sold-out houses throughout the world.
Since moving to Washington, DC in 1990, Ms. Danchenko-Stern has been heard often here and in Baltimore. Concert appearances include accompanying Pavel Pekarsky's Kennedy Center debut, the Washington debut of Ilya Kaler -- triple prize gold medal winner of the Tchaikovsky, Paganini, and Sibelius competitions -- and voice recitals with Medea Namoradze, Mikhail Manevitch, Sergei Leiferkus, Jerome Barry and Nikita Storojev, to name a few. Other artists such as violist Rivka Golani, and violinist Martin Beaver engaged her as an accompanist. In 1997, she accompanied soprano Carmen Balthrop singing Rachmaninov romances at the Carnegie Hall gala in honor of the 850th anniversary of the founding of Moscow. After Ms. Danchenko-Stern started teaching the course 'Singing in Russian' at the Peabody Conservatory she induced the whole voice faculty into participation in the "Evening of Slavic songs' sung in five Slavic languages.
Ms. Danchenko-Stern has completed several tours in Russia. In 2001, she brought her singer-students of the Peabody Conservatory - soprano Pamela Hay and baritone Timothy Scott Mix, for the 'Golden ring' Russian tour with performances in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Yaroslavl. For the first time American vocal students demonstrated their art in front of the native audiences singing Russian repertoire in Russian. Their recital in St. Petersburg took place at the residence of the Consul General of the United States and was a great success. "Closing my eyes I would have imagined that the singers were native Russians', commented the eminent Russian composer Sergey Slonimsky after the concert. This performance led to the invitation to participate in the International week of the Conservatories in 2002 dedicated to the 140th anniversary of the founding of the St. Petersburg Conservatory.
Three Peabody students - soprano Christina Covannah-Miller, mezzo-soprano Catrin Rowenna-Davis and baritone Timothy Scott Mix and tenor Pablo Henrich of the Catholic University of America, , accompanied by Ms. Danchenko-Stern, gave a full size stunning performance at the Glazunov Hall of the St. Petersburg Conservatory and received standing ovation from the enthusiastic audience which they entertained with a selection of classical Russian repertoire, sung in Russian, and music of Broadway.
Ms. Danchenko-Stern's also serves as Russian diction coach for the Washington National Opera. Her record there includes participation in the production of 'Tsar's bride' by Rimsky-Korsakov (1994), 'Boris Godunov' by Mussorgsky (1997), 'Queen of Spades' (2001) and "The Maiden of Orleans' (2005) - all by Tchaikovsky. In 2003, Ms. Danchenko -Stern was invited by the Honolulu Opera theater to coach the soloists and chorus for the first Russian opera in the company's repertoire - 'Evgeny Onegin' by Tchaikovsky. She was also engaged in this capacity to work with the Baltimore Symphony chorus for the production of Prokofiev's 'Ivan the Terrible' under the baton of Maestro Yuri Temirkanov. Deeply committed to the development of young artists, Ms. Danchenko-Stern taught at the Catholic University of America from 1992 until 2001 and continues to serve on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She is sought after as a judge, master teacher, and chamber pianist and teaches piano at her private studio in Alexandria, VA. Her recent master classes were presented at the Princeton and Michigan State Universities. With two alumnae of the Peabody Conservatory -- soprano Susan Harwood and mezzo-soprano Patricia Green Ms. Danchenko-Stern has founded Trio Lyrica.
In 2006, Ms. Danchenko-Stern launched her own concert series Masterpieces of Russian Vocal Music with the purpose of propagating Russian classical art songs among American audiences. The inaugural concert of the Russian Chamber Art Society (RCAS) - An Anthology of Russian romance at the Lyuceum in the old town of Alexandria on Feb. 5, 2006 featuring soprano Medea Namoradze and bass Mikhail Svetlov, with Vera Danchenko-Stern at the piano, was an overwhelming success . RCAS is now in its sixth season performing for sold out audiences.
Ms. Danchenko-Stern has been included into the centennial edition of 'Who's Who in American women' and is a "National Associate Artist of SAI".
Danielle Orlando serves as Master Coach on the music faculty of The Academy of Vocal Arts and is currently the Principal Opera Coach at the Curtis Institute of Music.
Ms. Orlando collaborated for many years with renowned tenor Luciano Pavarotti as accompanist, judge, and artistic coordinator for all of the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competitions. She also spent nine seasons working with Gian Carlo Menotti for the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy as the artistic coordinator and coach for the operas, in addition to editing several of his compositions and performing recitals with the festival.
Ms. Orlando is associated with many opera companies, festivals, and young artist programs, including The Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Washington National Opera (where she has collaborated with Placido Domingo), Michigan Opera Theater, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Opera, Portland Opera, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Festival dei Due Mondi in Charleston, South Carolina, American Institute of Music Studies in Graz, Austria, European Center for Vocal Arts in Belgium, the Merola Program at San Francisco Opera, Curso Intensivo de Perfeccionamiento de Opera in Mexico, Opera New Jersey, and Arizona Opera.
Ms. Orlando has been spending her summers in Europe, working for Oberlin in Italy in Arezzo and for the Florence Voice Seminar in Florence, Italy. In addition, she is on the music staff of the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland where she performs and works with international singers, conductors, and directors. She continues to judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions across the United States.
Ms. Orlando began her piano studies at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia and continued at the Eastman School of Music in New York. She earned a Master of Music in Piano Performance (summa cum lauda) at Temple University where she has been named to The Gallery of Success. She regularly accompanies internationally recognized artists and has performed on Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Live by Request on A&E, the Rosie O’Donnell Show and Larry King Live accompanying celebrities Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, and Michael Bolton. Ms. Orlando accompanied tenor Marcello Giordani in recital at the Supreme Court of the United States.
Heralded by critics as “a musician of real depth, sensitivity and authority,” Danail Rachev is currently in his second season as music director and conductor of the Eugene Symphony, a title that has previously been held by renowned conductors Marin Alsop, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, and Giancarlo Guerrero. Highlights of the 2010-11 season with the Eugene Symphony include performances with world renowned guest artists such as Sarah Chang, Jon Kimura Parker, Alisa Weilerstein and Itzhak Perlman; leading the Eugene Symphony Chorus in an all Beethoven performance featuring the Ninth Symphony; and conducting the Eugene Symphony premiere of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40.
Highlights of the 2009-2010 season with the Eugene Symphony included performances of the five Beethoven piano concerti with soloists Inon Barnatan, Angela Hewitt and Garrick Ohlsson; John Adams’ concerto Dharma at Big Sur with Tracy Silverman on electric violin; and Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Eugene Symphony Chorus.
The 2009-2010 season also held several important guest conducting debuts for Rachev, including engagements with the London Philharmonic, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. Rachev has also been featured in concerts with CityMusic Cleveland. The 2008-2009 season saw Rachev return to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and make debuts with the the SWR Stuttgart Radio Symphony, the Orquestra Nacional do Porto and the Nashville Symphony.
Rachev was Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 2005-2008 where he led numerous public concerts and education programs. Of his main series debut the Dallas Morning News wrote: “One of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s best concerts of the past year... start to finish, assistant conductor Danail Rachev got the music unfailingly right, and viscerally compelling.“
In 2002-2003 Rachev was the first ever Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony where he studied with Michael Tilson Thomas and worked alongside him on many occasions. His debut and subsequent appearances in numerous subscription, family, and chamber music concerts were met with consistent critical acclaim. In his native Bulgaria Rachev has worked with several ensembles including the Russe State Opera, where he led performances of Donizetti’s Don Pasqualeand Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
Danail Rachev was born in Shumen, Bulgaria and trained at the State Musical Academy in Sofia, where he received degrees in orchestral and choral conducting. He moved to the United States to study at the Peabody Conservatory on a full scholarship, graduating in 2001. His conducting teachers have included Gustav Meier, Michael Tilson Thomas, Vassil Kazandjiev, David Zinman, and Leonard Slatkin.
Mr. Rodescu will offer a master class for participating Russian Opera Workshop singers. Julian Rodescu is an Artistic Director of Astral Artists and serves on the voice faculty at the Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
JULIAN RODESCU has recently received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Sparafucile in Rigoletto, with the Opera Company of Philadelphia. "Theatrically, he inspired simultaneous fascination and repulsion while singing with the kind of bass-note buzz that made you wonder why he's not starring in Boris Godunov" wrote David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Mr. Rodescu also returned to Milan’s Teatro alla Scala in 2006, where he was the Commendatore in Azio Corghi’s “Il Dissoluto Assolto,” having also performed its World Premiere in Lisbon.
In March of 2004, Julian Rodescu earned rave reviews for his debut performances at London’s Covent Garden. He got similar raves for Fafner in Wagner’s Ring Cycle in Dresden and Bilbao. The Dresden Ring Cycle, conducted by Semyon Bychkov and directed by Willy Decker, was completed in 2004. His debuts in Madrid (in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mstensk), Naples, Los Angeles and Tel Aviv brought more praise. Mr. Rodescu has recorded for EMI, RCA, Erato and Albany Records. Mr. Rodescu made his La Scala debut in 1991 as Titurel in Parsifal, with Riccardo Muti conducting. He was invited back to sing Fafner in Siegfried in 1997, also with Maestro Muti. He has also appearaed in Florence’s Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron under the baton of Zubin Mehta. Over the last few years, Mr. Rodescu has performed at the Maggio Musicale with conductors Zubin Mehta and Semyon Bychkov, and directors Jonathan Miller and Lev Dodin.
Among important orchestral appearances, Mr. Rodescu performed Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra in Philadelphia and at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony in Boston, Carnegie Hall and at Tanglewood, and took part in the world premiere performances of Shostakovich’s Rayok with Maestro Rostropovich and the National Symphony in Washington, DC and Carnegie Hall. In 1999 he sang and recorded Zemlinsky’s Der Traumgorge with James Conlon and the Köln Gurzenich-Orchester.
Mr. Rodescu was appointed Artistic Director of Astral Artists in 2009. He has been active as a voice teacher in the Philadelphia area, as well as internationally, and is on the faculty of Westminster Choir College of Rider University. He has given master classes at the Curtis Institute, Temple University, Bucknell University, Boston University, University of Massachusetts, at the Teatro Réal in Madrid and in Florence, Italy. Mr. Rodescu is co-founder and Artistic Director of the annual Florence Voice Seminar. He has also taught a number of professional singers who have sung major roles with opera companies in Philadelphia, New York, Munich, Florence, Milan, Wexford and many more. He is also a judge on the panels of the Marian Anderson Competition, the Greenfield Competition of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Astral Artistic Services Annual Auditions and in 2005 for the Naumburg International Voice Competition.
Mr. Rodescu received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School in New York. His principal teacher has been Giorgio Tozzi. Other teachers and coaches have included Daniel Ferro, Beverley Peck Johnson, Hans Hotter, William Glazier, Richard Trimbourne, Martin Isepp, Luigi Ricci, Valery Ryvkin, among others.
Participating workshop singers will sing through a Tchaikovsky opera in a piano/vocal session with Mr. Hayes. Choral, symphonic and opera conductor, David Hayes is the Music Director of The Philadelphia Singers and is the staff conductor of the Curtis Institute Symphony Orchestra. Full Biography.
Rossen Milanov is an Associate Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Artistic Director of The Philadelphia Orchestra at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Bulgarian-born Milanov is fluent in Russian and is passionate about Russian repertoire. Full Biography.
Prof. Ilya Vinitsky to speak at the Russian Opera Workshop on Pushkin's works and subjects of Tchaikovsky operas
Chair of Slavic Languages Department at the University of Pennsylvania, Prof. Vinitsky has given guest lectures at Princeton, Harvard University, University of Chicago, Brown University, the New College (Oxford University), and Northwestern University.
Ilya Vinitsky received his diploma with honor in teaching Russian Language and Literature at Moscow State Pedagogical University in 1991, took his Ph.D. (kandidat filologicheskikh nauk) in Russian Literature at Moscow State Pedagogical University in 1995, and received his PhD habilitation (doctor filologicheskikh nauk) in 2005.
Ilya Vinitsky has been a member of the University of Pennsylvania Faculty since Fall 2003, having joined the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the rank of Assistant Professor. Before coming to Penn, he taught at Columbia University (2000) and the University of Pittsburgh (2000-2003) as a Visiting Assistant Professor.
Vinitsky teaches courses focusing on literary, ideological, religious, and political issues, including “Legal Imagination: Criminals and Justice across Literature,” “Madness and Madmen in Russian Culture,” “Russian Nights: Ghosts in Russian Culture,” “From the Other Shore: Russia and the West,” and “The Haunted House: Russian Realism in European Context.” He also teaches Benjamin Franklin seminars on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky and a number of graduate courses at Middlebury College Russian Summer School.
In 2010, Vinitsky received SAS Ira Abrams Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Select Recent Publications:
Ghostly Paradoxes: Modern Spiritualism and Russian Culture in the Age of Realism (University of Toronto Press, 2009; Rated as "Essential" by Choice Reviews")
“On the whole, as I suppose, it makes sense to speak of two polar types of artistic spiritualism in literature (that is, two attempts at the ontology of the “spirit of literature”): the idea of literature as a cunning and pernicious force (“the party of the devil,” in William Blake’s words) and a relationship to it as to a live and free manifestation of spiritual life that transcends and scoffs at material reality. One may call the proponents of this idea the “party of the spirit.”
A Cultural History of Russian Literature (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2009; together with Andrew Wachtel)
“We began this introduction to eighteenth-century Russian culture with Bishop Feofan’s eulogy to Peter the Great. We conclude with a historical anecdote which illuminates some cultural consequences of the Reform. Sometime in the early decades of the nineteenth century, the gifted satirical poet and aristocrat Petr Viazemsky (1792-1878) was visiting one of his remote estates. After a Sunday Mass, an educated (yet old-fashioned in his neoclassical literary tastes) local priest enthusiastically addressed the villagers: “You do not comprehend what kind of Master Our Lord gave you, my Orthodox brothers! He is the Russian Horace, the Russian Catullus, the Russian Martialis!” After each of these lofty attestations, as Viazemsky ironically (and sadly) comments, his pious peasants bowed to earth and vigorously crossed themselves.”
Interpreter’s House: Poetic Semantics and Historical Imagination of Vasily Zhukovsky (NLO, 2006, in Russian)
“Zhukovsky is the prophet not of Revolution (like the early romantics) but of Restoration (like the Biedermeier authors). His works are not products of free creativity, but of translation as an aesthetic and moral principle: “selfless obedience” and “arbitrary subjection” to the “sacred” in the original, the restoration of harmony via “struggle against the obstacle” (Viazemsky) of the chaotic word-for-word translation. It was precisely the venerable, eternal Odyssey (the mother of European poetry) that should have become the culmination of his poetic (i.e., translating) activities, the very epic (“the beginning of a new era”) that would foretell and bring about the victory of justice and order over chaos, and for that reason would prove so indispensable to the contemporary world.”
Madness and the Mad in Russian Culture (Toronto University Press 2007; co-edited with Angela Brintlinger)
“Following tradition, [Catherine the Great] considered melancholy a disease of sick imagination and a Western disorder, poisoning weak Russian souls. It is not an accident that among the patients of the first St. Petersburg mad asylum … were two freemasons V. Ya. Kolokol'nikov and M. I. Nevzorov. Both young scholars had just returned from abroad (commonplace melancholy travelers in the Western tradition) and both were diagnosed as hypochondriacs. Since the time of Catherine the Great this medical (psychiatric) diagnosis has been used by the Russian authorities as a simple and effective way to discredit and/or isolate their political and ideological opponents, including some of the Decembrists, Count Dmitriev-Mamonov, Pyotr Chaadaev, and Leo Tolstoy.”
Vinitsky’s most representative publications include:
"The Worm of Doubt: Prince Andrei's Death and Russian Spiritual Awakening of the 1860s," Anniversary Essays on Tolstoy, ed. by Donna Tussing Orwin. New York, London: Cambridge University Press, 2010, 119-36.
"Krupushki zaumnoi poezii [Grains of Zaum' Poetry]", Russian Literature, 2009. Jan 1-Apr 1; 65 (1-3): 261-279.
“Amor Hereos: the Occult Sources of Russian Romanticism”, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. Vol. 9, No. 2 (Spring 2008). Pp. 291-316.
“Table Talks: The Spiritualist Controversy of the 1870s and Dostoevsky”, Russian Review. No. 1 (2008). Pp. 88-109.
“A Cheerful Empress and Her Gloomy Critics: Catherine the Great and Eighteenth Century Melancholy Controversy.” Madness and the Mad in Russian Culture. University of Toronto Press, 2007. Pp. 25-45.
“The Invisible Scaffold: Execution and Imagination in Vasilii Zhukovskii's Work,” Times of Trouble. Violence in Russian Literature and Culture. Ed. by Marcus C. Levitt and Tatyana Novikov. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2007. Pp. 57-69.
“Where Bobok Is Buried: The Theosophical Roots of Dostoevskii's 'Fantastic Realism'”, Slavic Review. Vol. 65. No. 3 (2006). Pp. 523-43.
“Russian Dead Poets Society: Spiritualist Poetry as a CulturalPhenomenon.” In: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie (NLO) 2005, #2 (in Russian)
Vinitsky will be on leave next academic year. His research plans include writing a book on the history of poetry for children and a book on melancholy in Russian culture.
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